The ancient abbey of Montecassino, founded by St Benedict of Norcia in 529, a beacon of spiritual fervour and cultural splendour.
In 529, on the hill near the Roman settlement of Casinum, St Benedict and a small group of monks established what was the first Benedictine monastery. Here the founder of the order wrote the Regola which inspired the whole tradition of Western monasticism. Over the course of the Middle Ages the Benedictine tradition of studying, conserving and transmitting knowledge contributed to the development of Europe’s cultural identity. The extraordinary collections found in the the library of the National Monument of Montecassino reveal a “diversity of books” which reflects the grandeur of the monastery scriptorium at the height of the Middle Ages and its rich interconnections with other cultural centres across the continent.